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Concerto for Oboe and Strings By Vaughan Williams The oboe is a challenging instrument and composing for it poses many difficulties To truly do the instrument justice it must shine and blend all at once and this piece certainly does the oboe justice The limitations of the oboe are considered in the writing of the Concerto but it still pushes some barriers There are many difficult passages for an experienced player to master some through endurance others through a firm control of pitch There are parts that are quite pleasing to the ear while others are a little much Also consideration must be given to the instrumentalist herself Celia Nicklin There are aspects of her performance which do the part justice while others are lacking First an analysis of what seems challenging about the piece Right from the beginning Vaughan Williams seems determined to use the full capabilities of the oboe From the quietest dip into the low notes to the soaring upper register it is a stunning intro The arpeggiated passages are of particular concern The jumps and skips over fifths sixths and greater are hard to play on the oboe smoothly To have the fingers flying over the keys this quickly and still have the instrument firmly in place is quite a dilemma Because of some of the fingerings it is not an overly easy instrument to keep stable but any slip or wiggle and the pitch would waver and the note could crack The player seems to be able to maneuver this easily Then comes the faster running passages This takes quite a bit of practice but considering that the fingerings on the oboe are not always conducive to quick rolls up and down the scale this is a technically demanding feature of the piece The oboist is fully in control of these passages never rushing the easier parts or slowing on the more difficult transitions The jazzy influence of
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